Poetry of Kansas

Femina Ad Finitum

I
 
If you must know, my path has been box-hedged,
    Flag-bordered, square-cornered, trimmed close.
Men never tempted me outside. They've edged
    From me with level eyes. Their stormy woes
Have filled my ears, my shoulder ever damp
    With grief that other women caused___Marie
Or Sue or Kate . . . A prissy saint. No vamp.
    My tame, gray goodness anyone could see.
 
But life is queer. At times some catty dame
    Suspects my virgin past. Were it but known
I've lived too gay. Some dark red sin, she'll claim
    Has been lived down, and wild oats, wildly I have sown.
And for this blot upon my white, you think I'm wearing
        rue?
My dear, I have a secret hope that they may think it true.
 
II
 
That strange inheritance of mingled strains
    Perhaps is why I led a varied past,
And fished in various streams, and seized, sometimes,
    The man whose cash would make the days go fast.
 
The words of simple honest men would sting
    Me deep at times had I not by
A single, double, or quadruple fling
    Been disciplined where they were good and dry.
 
But how my schooled blood beats a tom-tom when
    Some adolescent wide-eyed boy, I find,
Accepts my calculated look and phrase,
    And breathes, "How could she know, with her pure
        mind!"

__Margaret E. Haughawout.

 

Sheep's Clothing
Margaret E. Haughawout
Pages 18-19
(Pittsburg, Kansas: __. 1929)

 
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January 1, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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